New in Theaters: 'Pompeii,' '3 Days to Kill'

Pompeii

This weekend is looking pretty grim for moviegoers expecting quality new releases; we’ve got two new films that were not super well-received, and both are fairly dark, so there’s little hope for some mindless laughs. If they’re looking for some plot-less, hardcore CGI action sequences, though, they will not be disappointed.

One of our new releases is Pompeii, the biggest exercise in dramatic irony since Titanic. In fact, much like Titanic, it follows the exploits of a young hero of questionable legal standing (Kit Harington) who attempts to save his beloved (Emily Browning)—who continues the parallel plot by being the unwilling bride-to-be of an unsavory patrician fellow (Jared Harris)—before a famous historical disaster destroys everything around them.

This ancient Roman Titanic didn’t go over well with the critics, as it sits at only 30% on the Tomatometer. The movie is a slapdash effort to recapture the hopeless romance of the much more successful film it’s trying to imitate, and it’s contrived to the point of being cheesy. The Box Office Guru predicts a weekend gross of around $11 million.

Also opening today is the slightly less serious 3 Days to Kill, a tongue-in-cheek homage to the borderline retirement-age action heroes that have been ruling the big screen lately. Kevin Costner plays a government hitman who, after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, decides it would be a good time to spend more time with his estranged family. However, he’s offered a life-saving miracle cure in exchange for one last job, which he now has to juggle with watching his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) for the weekend.

Critics were once again unimpressed—the folks at Rotten Tomatoes rated the film at only 25%. While it doesn’t make the mistake of taking itself too seriously, what the filmmakers intended as tongue-in-cheek action ended up looking disorganized and confused. It’s expected to earn around $10 million this weekend.

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